On Friday the 26th of October we left Pretoria early to get our festival hungry bodies to Mieliepop Songtuary 2012. I was pretty amped to attend one of the newest kids on the South African festival circuit block.
It’s the second year that this festival has been hosted at a venue that many folks have described as “an awesome venue for a festival”, and I could not agree more. In case you did not know, Tolderia Resort is located about 60 km from Ermelo in Mpumalanga and must be one of the most unique festival venues in South Africa. There’s no dust, no thorns and ample camping space for at least 3,000 people. You can either go on a boat cruise on nearby Tolderia dam or spent some time in the awesome heated swimming pool. The festival venue is also family friendly, which is why it appeals to older / settled festival goers and music lovers.
Kudos to @GigiGumdrop and @DeanOhBoy for getting us there in one piece safely. We arrived at Mieliepop Songtuary 2012 just before 2 PM and set up camp close to the river. After indulging myself in a few beers and meeting up with a few friends, it was finally time for the first acts to kick of the proceedings of the festival after 4 PM.
Friday’s line-up was quite impressive. Performances by Shotgun Tori (the lady with the magical voice), Mechanics of Happiness (an upcoming rock band from Johannesburg who will be releasing their debut album soon), Tenkai Pennies (Andra Cilliers’ side project), Marcia Moon and her band (which featured musicians with jembes and didgeridoos) and The Howlin’ Shibanski (a band that has mastered the art of no-nonsense blues) were some of the highlights. The Mieliepop Songtuary 2012 crowd were thoroughly entertained and getting more jovial as the evening progressed. It was still fairly quiet on Friday but it was definitely busier than last year’s festival. The party continued at the cave bar into the early hours of Saturday morning, thanks to the DJ-ing skills of Legend Frans.
We got off to a slow start on Saturday, but were eventually at “Dagdronk” level by 3 PM. The festival atmosphere was extremely chilled out and festival goers were well being well fed by all the food stalls. Ask any veteran festival goer and they’ll agree that nothing lines your stomach and kills a hangover than a burger from Burger Express (especially the R50 Legend burger which has a FULL PACK of bacon on it). The vibe at the festival bars were also pretty awesome, particularly because bar queues were short and the alcohol wasn’t that expensive. The Brutal Fruit slushies were quite a hit this year if you ask me. No wonder that the Mieliepop Songtuary 2012 crowd were such a jovial bunch.
Highlights on the stage on Saturday were definitely Classic Rock legends Uriah Heep (who put on one hell of a show and even allowed ladies from the audience to headbang with them on stage), Jeremy Loops (who got the party started and had young and old dancing their behinds off in front of the stage), Feed the Wolf (who impressed me with their unique blend of progressive rock), Aidan Martin and his band (who impressed the crowd with their blend of old school 70′s rock), Chiba Fly (who mesmerized the crowd with their unique blend of jembe drums and guitars), The Smoking Mojos (who rocked out to the max with Dirk Ace and tore the crowd a new one with their old school blues rock vibes), Dan Patlansky (who just blew the crowd away with his awesome guitar skills) and Tidal Waves (who proved that local is alive and lekker and that it’s not going anywhere).
Unfortunately we had to leave early on Sunday and I missed out on some epic performances by Riku Latti and other artists :/ I guess I’ll just have to make up for it next year.
Mieliepop Songtuary 2012 was an absolutely awesome festival. Close to 2,000 people made their way to this magical festival over the weekend (double the amount of people that attended the festival last year). It was well-organized and there was ample parking and camping space. The ablutions were clean and there weren’t many complaints about the hot showers.
The festival went down without major hiccups, there were just some issues with South Africa’s “friend” Eskom now and then. This didn’t discourage the crowd from having a good time (which is a good thing if you ask me). The vibe was awesome even though the weather didn’t play along that well this year. Kudos to Coenraad, Mia, Frans, Ernu and everyone else involved for pulling off one of the coolest festivals of 2012. Things can only get bigger from here if you ask me.
What did you think of Mieliepop Songtuary 2012? Leave a comment on this post and let me know what you think. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.
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Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone